Face of the Week

Maria Gergova-Bengtsson has Started a South Eastern European Chapter of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization

Maria is a selfmade entrepreneur. Prior to founding a PR agency, one of the leading ones in Bulgaria indeed, she graduated as an engineer. ©United Partners
Maria is a selfmade entrepreneur. Prior to founding a PR agency, one of the leading ones in Bulgaria indeed, she graduated as an engineer. ©United Partners

The South East Europe chapter of the global Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) was officially launched in October 2018. The female entrepreneur Maria Gergova-Bengtsson, who will also serve as president of the local structure, initiated it. This is the first chapter of EO that united more than one state or city and so far, it has members from Bulgaria, Romania and Serbia.

What does it mean

EO is a structure with relatively long story and traction – it was started in 1987 as a global business network. Verne Harnish, chair of MIT’s Advanced Business Program for entrepreneurs, founded it. There are over 13K entrepreneurs in 57 countries united in 181 chapters. Unlike other entrepreneurial supporting infrastructure, the EO relies on the peer-to-peer exchange between members. The entrepreneurs, members of EO, are all founders whose businesses generate at least €1M revenue and have gone through several rounds of selection. Its first 16 members who are entrepreneurs from Bulgaria, Romania and Serbia launched the South East Europe chapter of EO in October 2018.

The advantages of the network lie in the strong personal contact between the entrepreneurs, which is facilitated by the form and activities of the organization. On the other hand, EO provides its members with different guidelines on improving and scaling businesses. The specialty of EO are the one page plans for business development and toolkits for members.

The next step for the South Eastern European chapter is to open up an Acceleration program. According to Maria, this will happen in the next two years.

The female founder

Maria is the president of the SEE chapter of EO. She is also the founder and owner of United Partners – a Bulgarian marketing agency that has been among top three best agencies in Bulgaria for the last 10 years. She has been elected as International PR Association President for 2009 – the first IPRA president from Central Eastern European region during the 55 years history of IPRA. Maria is also guest speaker in different Universities and in a number of national and international conferences.

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